What it is, how it manifests, and can physical therapy can help.
Approximately 23% of men are left with unwanted urinary incontinence (uncontrolled leakage) 12 months after they have a radical prostatectomy (RP). This is because the prostate plays a role in the continence system, meaning it helps to control the flow of urine from the bladder. Often times the incontinence will resolve on its own within 3 months, but for a subgroup of men, it will continue, and can be influenced by age, weight, and muscle weakness or imbalance. If this is the case, seeing a pelvic health physical therapist can be extremely beneficial. Not only will they make sure you are able to connect to and activate your pelvic floor muscles correctly, they should also prescribe a very individualized exercise program to address weakness patterns in the core, pelvis and legs that may be contributing to your leakage.
While pain is common directly following surgery, it should significantly decrease within 1-2 weeks. If pain continues to be an issue and is impacting your daily function, a pelvic health physical therapist can perform a thorough examination to determine what may be contributing to the ongoing discomfort. Sometimes when there is trauma to an area, which naturally occurs during surgery, the nervous system can become sensitized which can influence the pain you are experiencing. Often a combination of manual therapy techniques to help normalize muscle tone and increase blood flow, patient education, and development of a self care routine focusing on stretching, breath work, and relaxing the nervous system can help to significantly decrease pain.
Mendwell is a Pelvic Health Physical Therapy clinic serving patients in Portland, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, and Tigard. Our team of specialists are passionate about helping patients improve pelvic function, relieve pain, and get back to feeling their best. Reach out to learn how we can help.